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25 Jan, 2015 16:36

Down-to-earth holy leader: 12 reasons why Pope Francis is cool

Down-to-earth holy leader: 12 reasons why Pope Francis is cool

The leader of the worldwide Catholic Church isn’t just known for the usual papal expressions of love, kindness and faith. Pope Francis has also touched millions with his off-script pronouncements and deeds, as well as his 'normal' behavior.

1. Having once proclaimed the internet a "gift from God," the Pope goes online quite often himself. Spreading the gospel, sharing advice and reacting to world news through social media - just as so many of us like to do - he posts a lot, having millions of followers on Twitter.Lord, thank you!

— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) December 31, 2014

READ MORE: ‘The internet is a gift from God’ - Pope Francis

2. The pontiff, who is the first of his chosen name, Francis, in the entire history of papacy in the Catholic Church, has also broke historic ground by being part of a... selfie!

How I wish I could also take selfie with Pope Francis..!! :) #PopeFrancisPH#PopeTYSMpic.twitter.com/0TcCw54Ri7

— ABbbeeeee. (@CailMMalik_008) January 15, 2015

Several selfies.

I want to take a selfie w/ Pope Francis too #PapalVisitPHpic.twitter.com/wSvRR2kNtF

— dawn ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ (@TOKKIXX1) January 15, 2015

@gmanews: LOOK: Lucky girl #BlessedByThePope with selfie http://t.co/mqFS3uRXOk " ❤ pic.twitter.com/j3dOVCdwaB”wish i have one too

— may (@kxzzhmxy) January 18, 2015

3. Pope Francis loves the four-legged friends as much as many of us, and has reportedly promised that your favorite pooch will have a spot in heaven, along with all other animals. Even more so, he made the "all dogs go to heaven" statement to comfort a little boy mourning the loss of his dog, according to Italian media reports.

READ MORE: All dogs go to heaven: Pope Francis says animals will enter pearly gates

Pope Francis smiles with people dressed as characters from the nativity scene as he arrives to visit the Church of St Alfonso Maria dei Liguori in the outskirts of Rome January 6, 2014. (Reuters/Max Rossi)

4. Having commented that God is not "a magician with a magic wand," the Pope acknowledged that both the Big Bang and evolution happened. The Big Bang theory did not contradict the existence of God, but required it, he said while delivering a speech at a religious meeting.

READ MORE: God behind Big Bang and evolution - Pope

Image from Wikipedia/National Science Foundation (NASA, JPL, Keck Foundation, Moore Foundation, related)

5. Pope Francis has also stated that he would welcome alien life forms into the open arms of the Catholic Church, should they be willing to convert. Having put forward his official stance on Martians - among other intergalactic travelers, it was the Italian mafia that got "excommunicated" by the church head.

READ MORE: Alien Baptism! Pope Francis would welcome Martians to the church

(Credit: NASA/ESA/Z. Levay and R. van der Marel, STScI; T. Hallas; and A. Mellinger)

6. While calling for people to practice "responsible parenting," the Pope is kind and welcoming to younger believers. He gave two lucky 11-year-olds a ride through St. Peter's Square on his popemobile. Although the two Italian boys eagerly hopped aboard the vehicle, the Pope himself is not so excited about his exclusive way of transportation.

READ MORE: ‘Sardine can:’ Popemobile out of favor with Pope Francis

Pope Francis kisses two children, after carrying them onto his Popemobile, before leading his Wednesday general audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican April 16, 2014. (Reuters/Stefano Rellandini)

7. In stark contrast to his predecessor Pope Benedict, who rode around in the bulletproof popemobile, Pope Francis has always preferred to use open-top cars to engage with ordinary people, saying that the fancy one reminds him of a “sardine can.”

@Pontifex Pope Francis #Defends#Amazon And #Environment In #Brazilhttp://t.co/wNEHK9m3D3#Indigenouspic.twitter.com/F16e2VWGQv

— Ahki_Portal (@ahkica) July 29, 2013

8. Another time he reportedly exchanged skullcaps with students, putting on the one offered to him and giving his own to two Americans studying in Rome. While in Brazil, the Pope swapped his traditional skullcap for a head piece of indigenous people from the Amazon, meeting with the natives and encouraging the area to be better protected.

Pope Francis has his skull cap removed by a child during an audience with children assisted by volunteers of Santa Marta institute in Paul VI hall at the Vatican December 14, 2013. (Reuters/Giampiero Sposito)

READ MORE: Pope clarifies ‘good Catholics breeding like rabbits’ comment

9. Really embracing equality and drawing instant applause from an audience in the Philippines, Pope Francis has called on men to listen to women - as they have “much to tell us." Women are able to ask questions that men can’t grasp, he said. Under his leadership, the Vatican has also considered "welcoming gifts and qualities of gays," and has apologized for the sexual abuse of children by Catholic clerics, with Pope Francis personally meeting the victims of abuse - the first time a pope has met such a group inside the Vatican.

READ MORE: Pope Francis: Listen to women, men are too machista

T-shirts with pictures of Pope Francis are hung over a Harley-Davidson bike before a mass led by Pope Francis in Rome June 16, 2013. (Reuters/Max Rossi)

10. Having once revealed to church-goers that there was a time when he was a bouncer at a nightclub in his native Argentina, Pope Francis has also sold his 'casual cool' belongings for a good cause. In February 2014, his Harley-Davidson motorcycle was auctioned off for $327,000, with the money donated to a soup kitchen serving homeless in Rome. Rocking the image, the pontiff has also graced the cover of a Rolling Stone issue, with an editor having been welcomed inside the Vatican to report on Francis' break from tradition.

Pope Francis looks soo cool on the cover of Rolling Stone! @Pontifex_es ⛪️ pic.twitter.com/5WmXgCUNHh

— Cristina ♡ (@ilVoloversx) February 6, 2014

11. Refusing to move into papal palace and known for his simple lifestyle, the humble persona of Pope Francis has become a real "People's Pope." Speculation has been raised that he has been venturing out of the Vatican under the cover of the night, disguised as a priest and meeting with the homeless.

Pope Francis, who's 78th birthday is today, blesses a homeless person at the end of his general audience at the Vatican, December 17, 2014. (Reuters/Tony Gentile)

12. But sometimes he has moments for himself - and that is not only to pray, but to support his favorite football team. Coming from the homeland of many football stars, the Pope is a huge fan, cheering for Argentina's San Lorenzo club.

Argentine Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio poses with a jersey from the San Lorenzo soccer club, of which he is known to be a fan, in this undated handout photograph distributed by the club on March 13, 2013. (Reuters/San Lorenzo soccer club/Handout)